The purple gown from Halloween’s past
I used to dress up for Halloween as a little girl. It was something I looked forward to. A lot of costume catalogs came to my house, and I remember my sister and I used to flip through them in order to pick our favorites as well as laugh at the sillier ones. I always came back to the catalogs when I was on my own, flipping again through the pages and thinking of all of the things I could pretend to be while wearing the various costumes.
One year I did actually order a costume from one of these catalogs—my mom sent an order form away and in the beginning of October it arrived in the mail—a dark purple “Renaissance Lady” gown. I tried it on almost immediately, and tried it on many days afterwards, both leading up to and following the actual night of Halloween. The sleeves were open around my wrists and the fabric flowed nicely as I walked around my room, the skirt just long enough to brush the ground but not enough for me to step on or trip over. I also remember the headpiece that came with the costume, the one I wore with my then obnoxiously-long hair left to fall over my soldiers.
Halloween gives you a night, or as many moments in which you try on your costume, to become something else—perhaps someone else—until you come back to empty your pillowcase of candy and eventually settle into a reality perhaps marked by a sugar rush. I’ve always liked this idea of Halloween, and thinking about it now, I wouldn’t mind having another opportunity to walk around my room in that purple gown.